Why You Need to Grow Your Own Herbs

Why You Need to Grow Your Own Herbs

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve had a few hits and misses with the apartment balcony garden, but each year, I try to grow at least a few herbs.  It takes only a small amount of work, but the rewards are gratifying.

Now more than ever, I recommend trying it out yourself for various reasons:

Food safety

I was thoroughly disgusted by this little piece of news:

FDA bans some Mexican cilantro after feces found in fields

Cilantro is often used raw in salads, guacamole, fresh salsa, and other Mexican dishes such as soft tacos and tostadas.  Using it raw increases the risk of food-borne illness.

By growing herbs yourself, you limit your exposure to herbs grown in unsanitary conditions, and potential disease.  Here are some tips on how to grow cilantro from Sunset Magazine.

Convenience

It is so easy to just go outside and snip a few leaves, anytime you need herbs for  recipes.

Cost-effective

A bundle of herbs can cost $4-$6 at the store; and a lot of it wilts in the refrigerator after you use a small handful.  On the other hand, a packet of seeds cost just a few cents; a full grown plant costs $2.99 and you can keep using it over and over.

Gift idea

If your plants prosper, or if you become proficient in growing them, you can give herb plants as gifts.  They make great teachers’ gifts, thank you or even get well gifts.  Everyone likes them.

Ready to get started?   It is not too late – even in the heat of summer, herbs continue to flourish.  Here are a few articles to get you going:

Three Herbs Even a Non-Gardener can Grow

4 Tips for Small Space Gardening

Drying Herbs without a Food Dehydrator

Step into Herb Gardening

 

© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

Monday Musings 7/27/2015 Enter to Win a Copy of My Next Book, The Penny-Pinching Prepper

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Penny-Pinching Prepper by Bernie  Carr

The Penny-Pinching Prepper

by Bernie Carr

Giveaway ends October 13, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

I’ve been posting less frequently lately, as I have been working non-stop to finish my latest book, The Penny-Pinching Prepper.  The book is now with the proofreaders, and is scheduled to be released mid-October.  Many new preppers become discouraged by the expense involved in buying gear and supplies – sure, there is an initial expense, but there are ways to keep costs down and make the most out of your preps, even if nothing happens.

Be one of the first to own the book!  Ulysses Press, my publisher, is giving away 10 copies, via Goodreads – you can enter now.  Just click on the link above.

Reader traffic is as good as ever – lots of people searching for apartment prepper topics.  Many thanks to The Prepper Website and Survival Pulse for linking to my articles!

 

Now for the links…

How to Make Compost in an Apartment

How to Start Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant by Seed

Bushcraft and Survival Gear on a Budget

The Pros and Cons of Being a Suburban Prepper

12 Survival Lessons from Ukraine: “Nothing Provides as Much Valuable Information as Real World Situations”

Prepper Shaming: Who Suffers Most from the “Prepper Stigma”

Take care and have a great week everyone!


 

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Interview with Author Daisy Luther and Giveaway

The Preppers Water Survival Guide

Today we are looking at The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide by Daisy Luther.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work, Daisy writes The Organic Prepper, and has written other books, such as The Organic Canner, which has also be featured.

This book is very timely written, as we are currently witnessing an unparallelled drought in California, as well as other states in the Pacific Northwest.  At my last trip to California, I found my own relatives were all dealing with the drought and trying to find ways to replace their lawns, conserve water, as we looked in dismay at water sources drying up almost right before our eyes.  Even the great waterfalls in Yosemite were low on water.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide offers many practical suggestions and tips that you can immediately apply to your own situation.  Water is vital for survival, and I always tell my readers to stock up on water, even if they choose to do nothing else to prepare.

Below is my interview with Daisy Luther.

1.  What water storage tips would you recommend to apartment dwellers living in the city?
When you’re in an apartment your storage space can be very limited. I recommend that you use those hidden spaces that normally go to waste for storing water: the back of the closet behind the clothing; pull the couch out from the wall and put bottles behind it, with a shelf on top to make it look like a console; under the bed; put a table cloth on the coffee table and store some there. If you’re in an apartment or other small space, focus on using smaller containers for your water, instead of the large 5 gallon jugs. A small container can be tucked into nooks and crannies more easily.
2.  How are you dealing with the water shortage in California at the present time?
Fortunately, I live in a home with a very deep well that has a substantial amount of water. However, I still store several hundred gallons of water because I have farm animals and a garden.  We are careful not to be wasteful. We collect gray water whenever possible and use it outside.
3.  What are your favorite water conservation tips?
People flush an astounding amount of water down the toilet. “When it’s yellow, let it mellow” is pretty much the rule of thumb here in California. Capture the water that normally runs down the sink when you are getting the water hot for doing dishes. Use that for giving water to pets or plants. Be very cognizant of the water that goes down the drain – we are very wasteful here in North America. Consider a “no-running-water” drill so that you can see exactly how much water you normally waste – this awareness will help you cut your usage.
4.  Please share some great summer projects for preppers.
In the summer, we like to practice our outdoor skills with activities like hiking or fishing. We also enjoy going foraging and preserving food. It’s a good way to pair “summer vacation” with “prepper education” for your children.
5.  How would you go about getting your non-prepper friends and relatives on board with becoming more prepared?
This is tough because they often don’t want to hear it. It’s easier mentally for them to write you off as crazy than it is to accept the fact that sometimes, life goes awry.  I generally try to recommend small changes instead of huge preps, like getting ready for a power outage. I always point out the events on the news that would have gone more smoothly had the people involved been prepared. Every once in a while, it works, so keep at it, gently, with those you love. Don’t be too pushy, or you’ll scare them off. Slow and steady wins this race. 
Now for the giveaway…  One lucky winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to win a copy of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.  We’ve made it as easy as possible to enter, with lots of opportunities to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 




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25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

25 Must Have Survival Foods

By Tess Pennington

This article first appeared in ReadyNutrition.com 

 

One of my favorite phrases that I tell new preppers is that “your preps are your lifeline.” We must put measures in place before a disaster is upon us in order to have these lifelines available to us when we need it the most.

Building an emergency pantry is one of those lifelines that takes both time and planning to make it fully functional. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes.

A few other points to consider when starting an emergency food pantry are:

  • To store emergency foods that will not require refrigeration, and should require little electricity or fuel to prepare.
  •  The food should have a long shelf life.
  • It should provide ample nutrition and contain little salt.

In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals,  I use the following essential food staples as the basis for the recipes. The following foods are all popular food staples that should be considered as “must haves” for your emergency pantries. The advantages to storing these items, is they encompass all of the key consideration points listed above. Best of all, these items are very affordable and versatile, thus making them worthy of being on your storage shelves for extended emergencies.

Keep in mind, that water is your most important prep. You need water for consumption, food preparation, and for sanitary needs. Ensure that you have a large quantity of water stored away for emergency use.

Stock up on the following items today to get your prepper pantry ready for the next extended emergency:

1. Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups
2. Dried legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
3. Crackers
4. Nuts
5. Pasta sauce
6. Peanut butter
7. Pasta
8. Flour (white, whole wheat)
9. Seasonings (vanilla, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
10. Sugar
11. Bouillon cubes or granules (chicken, vegetable, beef)
12. Kitchen staples (baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar)
13. Honey
14. Unsweetened cocoa powder
15. Jell-O or pudding mixes
16. Whole grains (barley, bulgur, cornmeal, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat berries)
17. Nonfat dried milk
18. Plant-based oil (corn oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil)
19. Cereals
20. Seeds for eating and sprouting
21. Popcorn (not the microwavable kind)
22. Instant potato flakes
23. Packaged meals (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, Ramen noodles, etc.)
24. Purified drinking water
25. Fruit juices, teas, coffee, drink mixes

Use this list as a starting point on beginning or extending your preparedness pantry- and don’t feel handcuffed to only stocking up on these items. Always keep your family’s food preferences and dietary needs in mind when investing in your food supply. It would be extremely advantageous to have a two week supply (at a minimum) of these shelf stable food items on hand to care for your family. To see how much your family would need, click here.

We never know when disasters or emergencies may strike, so why not be prudent and be ready for them before they affect our livelihood and well being.

About the author:

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

 



How to Deal with Downsizing

How to Deal with Downsizing

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Being prepared is not just for natural emergencies or disasters.  A job lay-off, while not usually considered an earth shaking event by most of the population, could be an “end of the world as we know it” for the person who is losing his or her job.  There are “mass casualties” even though it does not involve physical pain, does involve mental and emotional anguish for those that are affected.  Because it can be devastating and can significantly affect your lifestyle, it should be included in the list of events worth preparing for.

I have been laid off from work a few times in my career, a couple of those times happened within a year of each other.  Because of that unfortunate string of events, I have learned never to feel permanent in any job, even though I like to stay at my jobs for several years.  My co-workers wonder why I do not post personal photos or keep plants and knick-knacks on my desk, and that is because I never want to grow roots and feel complacent.   I learned to be observant and aware of the signs that things are not so stable.

Pay attention to job-related economic news, and keep your eyes open.  By the time you hear the euphemisms such as “re-organization,” or “downsizing”  it may be too late.

Know the Signs

Many people who lost their jobs feel blind-sided, and say comments like, “It came out of nowhere.”  “I thought my job was safe.”  Yet there are always clues.  Knowing the signs to watch for can help you prepare accordingly.  Here are a few tell-tale signs:

  1. Your company is cutting back on expenses, and your boss has announced “no more ordering new supplies.”  This is one of the early signs; it might mean the company is losing money, but it could also be more serious than that.
  2. Managers are constantly getting called to mysterious closed door meetings and are gone for long periods of the day, and they come back subdued.
  3. Many senior leaders have quietly left the company, with no retirement parties or goodbyes.
  4. Business travel plans, even those that were scheduled months ago, are being cancelled.  Perks, even for salespeople are being cut out.
  5. You have been asked to submit a description of your job duties.  Even worse, you are suddenly being asked to train another employee to do your functions.
  6. It is nearing the end of the fiscal year or end of the calendar year.  I observed that lay-offs at least in many industry are common during these periods.
  7. Projects that were top priority are now placed in the back burner, or, projects that were your responsibility are being shifted to others.
  8. You are being left out of important meetings.
  9. Your boss, who used to be friendly and caring, starts avoiding you.
  10. Annual reviews that used to happen the same time every year, have been postponed indefinitely.

If you suspect cut-backs may be happening soon, now is the time to take steps to prepare yourself and your family:

Steps You can Take

  1. Obtain a copy of your position description from your boss or Human Resources.  This is something that can be done at any time, but it may be too late to obtain once you are already being called to the boss’s office and told to clean out your desk.
  2. Update your resume.  This may be a “no brainer” for many experienced career oriented folks, but I have talked to many newer employees who do not maintain their resumes at all.
  3. Review your LinkedIn profile and keep it maintained.
  4. While you are still in contact with respected and trusted colleagues, line up references.  But be discreet about this.  If word gets out to the boss you are taking steps, you may be called out for spreading rumors and being a disgruntled employee which may hasten your departure.
  5. Start networking with contacts within your industry, but outside your own company.
  6. Use your health insurance benefits:  get your doctors’ and dentist appointments done, fill prescriptions for eyeglasses and medicines.
  7. Postpone major purchases such as home, car, and avoid incurring new debt.
  8. If you are a renter and your lease is up, search for a cheaper place, if possible.
  9. Pay off debt.
  10. Lower your living expenses:  cut back now now and get used to living on less.  Save the money that you would have spent.
  11. Review your bills and see if you can negotiate a lower rate.
  12. Save as much money as you can.
  13. Find ways to supplement your income by starting a micro-business.
  14. Prep!  Boost your preparedness level by stocking up on food and everyday supplies.  Your stockpile will see you through a period of unemployment.
  15. Come up with your own worse case scenario personal economic disaster plan.
  16. Acquire self-sufficiency skills now; skills that allow you to repair things or make things yourself will save you money even if you don’t lose your job.
  17. Christmas is only five months away!  Start thinking about lowering expectations for gift giving, and start making homemade gifts now.

Stay vigilant but keep a positive attitude.  Taking a pro-active attitude can only benefit you.  If you are fortunate and nothing happens, be grateful that you have been blessed.

© Apartment Prepper 2015

Take control of your financial future!




Prepper Uses for Silica Gel Packets

Prepper Uses for Silica Gel Packets

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

What is silica gel?
Silica (silicon dioxide) gel is what you find in those little packets when you buy leather goods, electronics, vitamins and certain foods. It is a desiccant, which absorbs moisture. As you know, excess moisture can damage electronics, leather, preserved foods and other products. Silica gel is porous and can absorb 40% of its weight in moisture.

I’ve seen some board discussions where people are confused between silica gel and oxygen absorbers- Oxygen absorbers are for air, while silica gels are for moisture.

I used to immediately throw them away as soon as I opened up packaging, until I found out they have a lot of uses.

Dry out a cell phone
My niece dropped her cell phone in the pool and was trying to dry it out. She turned it off and placed it in a bowl of rice for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the rice did not work. When she went to the store to replace it, the rep told her that silica gel packets work much better than rice. Just leave the phone in a large zip lock bag with lots of silica gel packets for several days. To be on the safe side, don’t turn it back on for a few more days after it dries.

Protect your ammo
Place several silica gel packets in your stored ammo cans to prevent moisture from seeping in.

Keep your tools from rusting
Excess humidity may cause your tools to get rusty. Take proper care of your metal tools, and place silica gel packets in your toolbox to prevent rusting.

Keep seed packets from getting soggy
I had stored some seeds from last year; when I checked them recently, I was dismayed to find out that moisture had seeped in. This time I am leaving a few silica gel packets with the seeds.

Protect camera and night vision lenses
You don’t want moisture getting into your camera lenses or night vision lenses. Store them with silica gel packets.

Store with your important documents and photos
Moisture is also a threat to your important documents and photos. Wherever you store your important papers and pictures, slip in a few silica gel packets to protect them.

Keep your bug out clothes dry
If you live in a humid environment, you know moisture can get into suitcases and bags. You can feel the dampness and smell the musty odor when you open it. Tuck in a few silica gel packets in your bug out bag or even your gym bag to avoid this.

Air and shoe freshener
Moisture in shoes contributes to bad odors. Place a few drops of essential oils on silica gel packets and place inside your boots or hiking shoes.

You can also make air freshener by opening the silica gels packs and placing the contents into a bowl. Place a few drops of your favorite fragrant essential oil and now your have a room freshener.

For a great discussion on desiccants in general, see A Beginners Guide to Desiccants over at Backdoor Survival.

© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

Open Carry

Open Carry

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 910, also known as the “open carry bill.”  The bill will allow licensed Texans to openly carry their handguns in a hip or shoulder holster, starting January 1, 2016.  Private businesses will still be allowed to prohibit handguns within their premises as long as they post the proper signs.  Under the version that was approved, law enforcement personnel have the authority to stop and question someone who is carrying to check for a gun license.

What’s your perception?

There is quite a bit of controversy about this new law, even within pro-gun citizens.  Some critics feel that openly seeing handguns in everyday places like movie theaters and stores will just make people anxious.  Picture this:  you go to a restaurant and see five individuals with handguns on their side holsters.  How would you feel?  Would you start to wonder if these people are responsible types, who are properly trained in using their guns?  Or would something set them off, then a fight and shoot out ensues?  On the other hand, these same five people could have had concealed handguns all along, but you never noticed and therefore you never really thought about it.  People have their own perceptions about guns being carried, and once it is out in the open they will have to deal with it.

My brother in law Bill has been waiting for this bill to be signed and he is gratified that it will finally go into effect.  He’s had his concealed carry license for years and feels this new law upholds the 2nd Amendment and celebrates freedom by extending the privilege to carry handguns openly.  He feels that law abiding citizens being allowed to carry openly would be a deterrent to potential criminals and make them think twice about attacking an armed individual.

One the other hand, my friend Jim is not as enthusiastic about the upcoming change.  He has a license as well, but feels that when you carry openly, you lose the element of surprise, and may potentially become a target.  If a criminal were to case out a store before a robbery, he or she will try and identify who is armed, and try to eliminate the threat.  On the other hand, Bill would argue that having a number of armed individuals would deter the criminal from robbing that particular store.  And so the argument continues.

I am not going to get into how I feel about it as I am not trying to sway anyone’s opinion.  Just voicing out the two sides.  How do you feel about this?   Would you carry openly if you were licensed a handgun in your state or country?

© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

10 Remedies for Itchy Mosquito Bites

10 Remedies for Itchy Mosquito Bites

 

As I have shared previously, our area has been having a lot of rain these past two months. While I am grateful for an end to the drought, the enormous amounts of rain has resulted in flooding, and one other unwelcome effect: an explosion in the mosquito population.

Everywhere I look there are puddles and other forms of standing water: breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Just taking a half hour walk in the morning, I ended up with multiple mosquito bites on my arms.  Now I apply natural repellant before I walk out the door.

If you’ve ever had a mosquito bite, you know how itchy they can get. Scratching provides momentary relief, but spread the itch even more.

Here are 10 easy remedies for itchy mosquito bites:

  1. Miracle Salve  I have found that the Miracle Healing Salve, (originally found on Backdoor Survival), works to relieve mosquito bite itching, among many other uses.  I have made several batches of this salve.
  2. Deodorant  My son’s science teacher swears by deodorant to relieve itching. I’ve tried both scented and unscented, they seem to work equally well for a short time.
  3. Adhesive bandage Mr. Apartment Prepper just places a band-aid over the bite. It prevents further irritation from brushing up against surfaces and you eventually forget that it’s there.
  4. Alcohol   Place a dab of rubbing alcohol directly on the bite – it does help.
  5. Baking soda and water   Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply directly on the itch.
  6. Ammonia and water  Mix equal parts of plain ammonia and water and apply on the itchy area with a cotton ball.
  7. Vick’s Vapor Rub  My grandmother swore by this remedy.  When we were kids, she would dab a small amount of Vick’s Vapor Rub on the itchy bite.
  8. Tea tree oil   Mix five to six drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply with a cotton ball directly on the bite.
  9. Apple cider vinegar   I already use apple cider vinegar to ward off colds; it works to relieve itch as well. Place apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and rub directly on the bite.   The smell goes away after a few minutes.
  10. X marks the spot   If you find yourself without any of these home remedies, use a clean fingernail and make an “X” right on the bite. This seems to relieve the itch for a short time.

These are just some of the remedies that I have tried myself. For more ideas, check out these articles from our friends over at Prepared Bloggers:

Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings from Commonsense Home

How to Make Lucky Sherpa Plaintain Salve from The Survival Sherpa

Mosquitos are not only annoying, they also cause a number of diseases such as Chikungunya.  Get to the bottom of the problem:  Mom with a Prep shows how to Combat Mosquitos Naturally  

 

 

Should You Pay Off Debt or Buy Preps?

Should You Pay Off Debt or Buy Preps

A friend of mine, let’s call her Marie, called me about buying items for her stockpile while she was shopping at a big box store.  We went over beans, rice, sugar, canned foods, toilet paper and others good bulk items.  Marie told me she’d call me back after she got through the check out line.  Not even 30 seconds later, she called back telling me how mortified she was that her credit card was declined and she had no other way to pay.  I tried to make her feel better but I don’t think it worked.  We hung up soon after, as she left her cart of bulk items behind, muttering something about getting a drink on the way home.  I felt bad for her – it must have been awful to have your credit card declined in front of a whole line of people.

I had no idea she was having issues with debt; it is not the sort of thing that is comes up in everyday conversation.   I think many people are in denial about being debt, just as they are in denial about the need to prepare.

It is unfortunate my friend was not able to get the bulk items just as she was getting started but I think she can start by prepping in small steps.  When someone finally wakes up and feels the need to prepare, it is often accompanied by panic.  Thoughts about not having enough money to get all the gear you think you need fill your mind, and these thoughts might make you even more paralyzed.

How do you find money to prepare, while you are also trying to dig yourself out of debt?

Make a spending plan. 

On one column, list your income.  On the opposite column, list your expenses including rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gasoline then list your debts, and possibly savings.  Your income less expenses should have a small amount left, and you can allocate that to prepping.  I believe you can prep even if you start with $5 a week, as long as you do it consistently.

Stop charging.

I have seen advice or comments in other sites saying just run up the credit cards and buy all the emergency supplies even if it’s on credit.  I’d stay away from doing making additional charges, because that just sinks you further and further into the pit of debt.  In a year or two, if nothing happens, you will still be in debt and you will just blame yourself even more.

It is hard to put the cards away, but that is the only thing that works.  If you don’t carry it in your wallet, and it’s out of reach you are less likely to use it.  Switch to using cash only.

Try to get more money coming in.

There are lots of ways to make some money on the side.  Consider moonlighting, or making money from hobbies.  For more ideas, see Coming Up with Cash for Preps

While technically not getting more money coming in, using coupons increases your stockpile at a lower cost.  See Extreme Couponing to Boost your Supplies.

Learn money saving skills

Part of prepping is learning to be more self-sufficient and many of these skills can be learned for free.  Start now by visiting my section on Self Sufficiency  

I encourage you to try out even just one project a month, and you will end up saving some money.

What about Emergency Cash?

I would say as long as you are current on your bills, and are able to set aside a small amount for water, food and emergency supplies, then you should do so.  Having a small amount set aside for emergencies will help you avoid relying on credit cards then next time you need to replace a tire, pay for an emergency room visit or other unexpected expense.

Get help and inspiration.

If you are trying to recover from credit card debt, these sites offer excellent advise on  giving debt free living advice:

http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

Debt-Proof Living

Both sites have a members area, however, the free side is excellent and gives enough information to get started.

I also like the Surviving and Thriving blog by Donna Freedman, which features a bit of everything but also has some great advice about living well on a small budget.

If you are new to this site, please check out the “Getting Started” tab  as well as Saving Money

Being prepared for emergencies and having a small stockpile of your necessities will actually save you money in the long run.

 

Take control of your financial future!

Meal Replacement Shakes for Food Storage

Meal Replacement Shakes for Food Storage

I was at our local grocery store’s health food section as my teen son was looking for protein powder.  We found a large canister of one of the trusted brands at 20% off.  With several servings that would last for weeks, I started to think it would not be a bad idea to include meal replacement shakes or protein powder in the food storage shelf.

Why include meal replacement shakes in food storage?

  • Nutrition –  One serving provides protein and vitamins
  • Servings – One canister can last for weeks
  • Easy to prepare – when you don’t feel like cooking and need a quick meal, all you need to do is a bit of mixing and you have a nourishing drink
  • No other ingredients needed – many brands just require some water.
  • Shelf life – they have at least a couple of years shelf life
  • Storage – If you want to avoid the large canister, you can repackage them for long term storage in mylar bags

Some examples:

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Vanilla

Ensure

Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder

GNC Total Lean Shake Vanilla Bean

Choosing your Nutritional Shake

There are so many variables, you would need to choose according to your own health conditions and preferences:  gluten free, sugar content, fat (saturated and unsaturated) content, sodium, organic etc.

If you prefer meal replacement bars, they are a good option as well.  We keep these high calorie SOS Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bars in the car.

There is just one caveat:  you must like the taste.  There is no point stocking up on something that tastes vile.  Take advantage of in store samples before you buy.  Before stocking up, try a small container first.

Ask about the store’s return policy.   Some stores, such as Trader Joe’s, have signs posted that they will accept your returns if you try a new product and you don’t like it.

I’m not suggesting you forgo canned foods, bulk food storage and freeze dried selections –  because of their convenience and nutritional value, meal replacement shakes would be a good addition to these other foods as part of an overall food storage plan.